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Rise of the Warrior Cop

Ooh-Rah

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#2
Ummm...nobody is more of a "pro-cop" guy than me, but what the fuck???

A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education's SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans, though the agency later said she was suspected of defrauding the federal student loan program.
 

0699

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#4
Ummm...nobody is more of a "pro-cop" guy than me, but what the fuck???

A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education's SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans, though the agency later said she was suspected of defrauding the federal student loan program.
I'm pretty sure the DOEd OIG doesn't have a SWAT team. IIRC, the article as originally written stated that a raid was done by a SWAT team and things got blown out of proportion from there.

The biggest problem is that every federal agency can basically make up its own law enforcement agency.... since everything they do/enforce is "law" so shiny badges get handed out in cracker jack boxes.
All of the FLEAs have their duties outlined in USC and/or CFR. They aren't "made up".
 

policemedic

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#5
since everything they do/enforce is "law" so shiny badges get handed out in cracker jack boxes.
If by 'cracker jack box' you mean the 1811 criminal investigator course required to qualify as a Special Agent--the same one required to be a DSS Special Agent, the same job class as a Deputy United States Marshall or FBI G-Man or DEA Special Agent--then you're correct.
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
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#6
I can understand that every LE force doesn't need a SWAT capability, there are some exceptions that should be kept out of this "discussion". One service that is always forgotten or looked down upon is Fish and Wildlife. Poaching is big business, they are usually heavily armed and know how to kill; not just shoot. Most Fish and Wildlife Officers operate on their own, in remote areas and far from any back up. So when they get the chance to take down someone, they go in heavy.
 

pardus

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Messages
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#7
So good of the WSJ to tell us how things should be in law enforcement.

I don't blame the cops at all for having SWAT teams, just makes sense. As society crumbles more and more, SWAT teams will be used more and more.
You watch them bitch when the military start walking the streets with loaded firearms, oh wait, that's already happening.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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#8
I think SWAT has its role, but I'm not sure they should be an automatic go-to for warrant services. I can understand high risk warrant, but I would say 'most' (not all) drug warrants don't fall under "high risk" and the same being for small BS like possible student loan fraud.

I think it is very situational dependent and when I hear or read about SWAT being used for BS warrant services, I think two things:

1) the LEA has a shit bird admin who doesn't understand what, where and how SWAT should be used.

Or

2) you have a SWAT team commander using BS warrants to justify a budget (boost the numbers of warrants served) useing the warrant service as a training tool for the team, or doesn't know how to tell the admins "that is not what SWAT is for"...

SWAT is needed, but you need smart people on the leadership side to insure SWAT is used correctly.

My $0.02
 

JBS

Leatherneck
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#10
I have no problem with SWAT teams every city block. Having additional capabilities isn't the issue. It's administering those capabilities in a supremely professional, uniform, and expert manner that is the concern.


I just worry about Constitutionality of activities, strict adherence to department policies, that they recieve rigorous expert level training (unlike the morons with zero fire discipline in the LAPD during the Dorner incident), making sure that these men and women focus on the"Serve" part of "Serve and Protect" and that they absolutely minimize the interference with citizens going about their lives in a lawful manner.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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#11
Correct on both counts. My team does not serve all the warrants our detectives obtain.

As to the rest, well...what definition is the author using for SWAT teams?
Obviously the auther is blurring the lines somewhat, as not all tactical LE units are SWAT teams. But I think the auther is touching on a key subject of how LE has become a lot more "para military" over the last 25 years. Good or bad, policing has changed and it is more militaristic than ever before. Attacking SWAT over this (IMHO) is a uneducated choice. I think this is more of an admin problem, also a doctrine issue, where gang activity has change the face of community oriented policing.

Its been easier to go more tactical (training, plannings, execution) than political.

Also, you have the LEO factor where tactical is sexy and cool. Where the hearts and minds, community oriented policing is not.


I can also dive into the budgeting and staffing changes in policing (growth and federal insensitives) that have caused many small LEAs to grow and become almost intrusive to the small communities they serve...but I'm on my phone and my thumbs hurt.
 

Ranger Psych

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#12
If by 'cracker jack box' you mean the 1811 criminal investigator course required to qualify as a Special Agent--the same one required to be a DSS Special Agent, the same job class as a Deputy United States Marshall or FBI G-Man or DEA Special Agent--then you're correct.
I get that, which is all fine and dandy... but I believe that while technical expertise regarding the specific department they work in is important... you're better off bolstering the elements that *actually enforce law on a daily basis* versus DOED, IRS, etc having all sorts of different tac teams to quite literally just fuck shit up when they aren't exercised often enough.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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#13
I've seen the lament by people on this board, whom I trust a great deal, that air ambulance/ life flight helos are used far too much. One reason is to justify the flight time/ salaries and to bill insurance for the cost.

Obviously insurance doesn't come into play with SWAT teams, but to echo JAB's posts how many SWAT call-outs (or whatever metric you care to use) are to justify training budgets and manning levels?

Personally, I could care less how many SWAT/ Tac Teams there are out there. I'm concerned about the service provided to the community: crime, rights, safety, etc.
 

SpitfireV

Strike first, strike hard, no mercy!
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#14
It's an interesting debate. I can only think of one time that I would consider inappropriate (top of my head, there will have been more) here when the top tier police tactical team was used to serve a warrant on a computer pirate...
 

Ranger Psych

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#15
I've seen the lament by people on this board, whom I trust a great deal, that air ambulance/ life flight helos are used far too much. One reason is to justify the flight time/ salaries and to bill insurance for the cost.

Obviously insurance doesn't come into play with SWAT teams, but to echo JAB's posts how many SWAT call-outs (or whatever metric you care to use) are to justify training budgets and manning levels?

Personally, I could care less how many SWAT/ Tac Teams there are out there. I'm concerned about the service provided to the community: crime, rights, safety, etc.
I guess it depends on where you're at. We would fly pretty much any trauma since it took less time to put them on standby and/or LZ it up than what it would take to drive them to anchorage, code. Well worth the effort there.
 

Arrow 4

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#16
It used to be that if a Federal Agency with enforcement authority needed to serve a search warrant, they tapped the local/county/state SWAT Team with jurisdiction. These are the guys with the best intel, knowledge and experience, also because they serve high risk warrants on a regular basis most of them will use a threat matrix to determine if the warrant actually requires SWAT. There is good reason to be critical of many of these Federal Agency "SWAT" Teams. I do believe that part of the reason many of these agencies now have tactical teams is as stated by others....justification for staffing and equipment and cool factor.
 

RackMaster

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#17
With all the money spent on SWAT or tactical "teams" at "lower" levels of LE, would it not be better spent providing every one in uniform with more and better training for all skills. If the first cop in the scene have better negotiating skills/training and more time on the range with all weapons available to them; would it not provide a better response?
 

ke4gde

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#18
With all the money spent on SWAT or tactical "teams" at "lower" levels of LE, would it not be better spent providing every one in uniform with more and better training for all skills. If the first cop in the scene have better negotiating skills/training and more time on the range with all weapons available to them; would it not provide a better response?
Yes and no. I agree with what you said and that has been the case in many agencies. Line patrol officers would benefit from increased training. Your idea is a good one and would be good for the communities. Though SWAT teams do serve a purpose and small scale ones should be maintained. When properly employed they re effective tools. The problem they face (much like the Special Ops community in its infancy) is they are misunderstood and misused by their administrations. Additionally, many smaller depts. don't have as large a pool of qualified candidates to select from. Many smaller agencies have people that just want to look cool instead of being technically and tactically proficient. Without proper guidance any Tom, Dick, and Harry can be named "SWAT"
 

RackMaster

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#19
Yes and no. I agree with what you said and that has been the case in many agencies. Line patrol officers would benefit from increased training. Your idea is a good one and would be good for the communities. Though SWAT teams do serve a purpose and small scale ones should be maintained. When properly employed they re effective tools. The problem they face (much like the Special Ops community in its infancy) is they are misunderstood and misused by their administrations. Additionally, many smaller depts. don't have as large a pool of qualified candidates to select from. Many smaller agencies have people that just want to look cool instead of being technically and tactically proficient. Without proper guidance any Tom, Dick, and Harry can be named "SWAT"
That's exactly what I was getting to but you put it better. ;-) I'm not against having the assets and if a community force has the man power and funds to maintain a team but not impede on the capabilities of the rest of the force.
 

0699

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#20
It used to be that if a Federal Agency with enforcement authority needed to serve a search warrant, they tapped the local/county/state SWAT Team with jurisdiction. These are the guys with the best intel, knowledge and experience, also because they serve high risk warrants on a regular basis most of them will use a threat matrix to determine if the warrant actually requires SWAT. There is good reason to be critical of many of these Federal Agency "SWAT" Teams. I do believe that part of the reason many of these agencies now have tactical teams is as stated by others....justification for staffing and equipment and cool factor.
You're kidding, right?